January 31, 2012. (Romereports.com) The Vatican has released the official schedule of the Pope's trip to Mexico and Cuba. On the morning of Friday, March 23, Benedict XVI will depart from Rome for the Mexican city of Leon, in the state of Guanajuato.
The next day he will meet with Mexico's president, Felipe Calderon, as well as hundreds of local children. It's expected to be the most colorful event of the trip.
Then on Sunday morning, the pope will celebrate Mass with an expected crowd of some 400,000 people in Leon's Bicentennial Park. In the afternoon, he we will then pray with the bishops of Mexico and Latin America in the city's cathedral.
On Monday the 26th of March, Benedict XVI will say good-bye to Mexico and travel to Cuba, landing at 2 P.M. in Santiago de Cuba. That same day he will preside over a Mass for the 400th anniversary of the discovery of Our Lady of Charity, the patroness of all Cubans.
On Tuesday morning, he will travel to Havana to meet with President Raul Castro. The day will end with a dinner with the Cuban bishops.
The visit will end on Wednesday March 28. Before returning to Rome, the pope will follow the footsteps of John Paul II by celebrating Mass in Havana's Revolution Square. The same place where Fidel Castro would address crowds of Cubans.
The schedule doesn't include any meetings with the former leader, although last minute surprises are not being ruled out.
Also, the official poster of the Pope's visit to Mexico was released. It's a picture of Benedict XVI with a famous local statue of Jesus and the Virgin of Guadalupe. These two images are also in the official logo.